If you plan to travel to Germany and Europe, to visit relatives, participate in a summer school or work seminar then Schengen visa is the way to travel in Germany and all the European states that are part of the Schengen agreement.

With the Schengen agreement countries in Europe decided to gradually abolish border controls, and make movement of people much easier.

With a Schengen visa you can travel and stay not only in Germany, but all 26 countries that participate in the Schengen Agreement for a period of up to 90 days:

Austria Germany Lithuania Slovakia
Belgium Greece Luxemburg Slovenia
Czech Republic Hungary Malta Spain
Denmark Iceland Netherlands Sweden
Estonia Italy Norway Switzerland
Finland Latvia Poland
France Liechtenstein Portugal

Required documents:

  • Completed application form in English and German only
  • Passport size photographs (see visa photo requirements for details)
  • Valid national passport
  • Personal bank statements for the last three months
  • Confirmation letter from your health insurance stating coverage for emergency medical treatment with a minimum of €30,000
  • Leave letter of your company (if employed)
  • Proof of accommodation. Hotel bookings for your stay.
  • Proof of flight reservation. You can use the visa consultation services like this one or find one online.
  • No-objection certificate of school or university (if student)
  • Personal covering letter with entire travel plan (itinerary)
  • Proof of civil status: Marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card (if applicable)
  • Your driver’s license and/or utility bill in your name as proof of residence in the consular where you plan to apply for the visa

For Minors:

  • If travelling unaccompanied by parent(s), consent letter signed by both parents
  • Form signed by both parents
  • Copy of the parent(s)’ passports data page

Where and how to apply?

You can apply at the Embassy of the country where you want to go. First-time applicants have to submit the application form along with the required documents in person. Frequent travelers may submit their application and documents via an agent or a travel agency.

It is recommended you apply for a visa at least 3 weeks before your travel date to meet any processing delays.

Paying the visa

Applicants have to pay for the visa by a bank transfer. Check’s or credit cards are not accepted by embassies. The money order must be in the name of the Consulate in your home country and not be older than two months. Cost of a Schengen visa as of 2008 is €60.

Please note the visa fees will not be reimbursed in case of the visa being rejected and the price is subject to change at any time.

With a Schengen visa you are not allowed to work or study, thus it’s mandatory that you apply for a student visa or work visa (national visa) if you wish to stay for more than 90 days.